Hervey Bay is the Fraser Coast’s main regional centre. It was proclaimed a city in 1984 and evolved from an amalgamation of small seaside villages along the Fraser Coast. It runs along the Hervey Bay coast line and its suburbs includes Dundowran, Dundowran Beach, Eli Waters, Kawungan, Nikenbah, Pialba, Point Vernon, Scarness, Takura, Torquay, Urangan, Urraween, Walligan and Wondunna. Townships outside the Hervey Bay city limits include: Aldershot, Booral, Burrum Heads, Craignish, Howard, River Heads, Toogoom and Torbanlea.
The city is well-known nationally for its temperate climate, world-class beaches, proximity to Fraser Island and the whale watching industry.
Hervey Bay was originally part of a cattle station, the Toogoom Run, which was first settled in 1854. In the 1870s, many Scandinavian settlers moved into the area and for a short time Hervey Bay became known as Aarlborg. At this time the area was basically used for dairy farming. In the 1880s sugar was introduced to the area and the Kanakas were brought from the South Pacific islands to work on the sugar plantations.
The attractions of the area were obvious. The fishing was good, the place was quiet, the weather was excellent, the area around the bay was flat and accessible. All these factors quickly led Maryborough businessmen to take up large waterfront blocks of land for weekend retreats. A number of villages began to develop throughout the area and were individually named: Polson’s Point which became Point Vernon; Barilba which became Pialba; Torquay; Urangan; and, Gatakers Bay.
Over the past two decades, Hervey Bay has enjoyed one of the fastest growth rates in Queensland. Its current population is estimated about 47,555 and although growth has slowed, it is expected to reach 65,943 by 2036.
As a popular destination for retirees, it has a higher median age at 45 years, compared to 37 years for the rest of Australia. However, it also attracts many young families seeking its relaxed lifestyle and affordable housing, and entrepreneurs seeking a relaxed lifestyle in a progressive business environment.
Well Developed Infrastructure
The city has a well-developed infrastructure, with strong education, health care and transport facilities including the University of Southern Queensland campus, high-quality public and private hospitals and healthcare facilities, and its own airport with direct flights to Brisbane and Sydney.
Hervey Bay’s picturesque esplanade is dotted with alfresco cafés and restaurants, shops, parks, piers and a vibrant marina – all with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and Fraser Island.
The main retail area is centred on Pialba with plans in place for a major renewal of the area. It has a number of shopping centres supported by all the major brands.
Pedestrian and Cyclist Friendly
The council has installed mobility, walking and cycling corridors throughout the city encouraging avid cyclists and walkers and making it a friendly city for people with reduced mobility.